An update about the LR2 tanker Front Altairwas informed by Frontline Ltd.
The company informed that an explosion occurred on the Front Altair on June 13, in the morning at approximately 05:00 hrs gmt. The explosion occurred on the Front Altair shortly after the vessel had passed through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
There were 23 crew members onboard the Front Altair who were unharmed as they were rescued by the cargo vessel Hyundai Dubai and subsequently carried by an Iranian naval vessel to the port city of Jask. Frontline applauded their highly-trained crew, the vessel master and ship managers, for following protocol and operating according to the highest standard during this distressing and very serious incident. Frontline felt sincere grateful to all parties who have contributed their valuable efforts ensuring the safety of their colleagues.
Frontline located emergency responders in a timely manner to extinguish fire. They were able to extinguish the fire on the vessel within hours of the incident and also ensured no pollution resulted. Contrary to media reports, the vessel remains afloat and is being attended to by a salvage vessel. The Company’s modern vessels are designed such that it can withstand the fatal events and also ensure the safety of crew and cargo. On June 14, at noon a rescue tug equipped with towing capability reached the Front Altair. Also on June 15, two more support vessels arrived on the scene along with a specialist team to inspect the tanker and advice recommendations.
The cause of the explosion is still not known to the Company, although the company have figured out that it might have occurred due to some mechanical or human error. The company along with the third parties, including governmental officials will investigate the incident thoroughly to determine the cause.
The Strait of Hormuz comes under the most densely trafficked sea routes in the world and serves as the passageway for greater than 25% of the world’s seaborne crude oil. In the Persian Gulf due to rise in geopolitical tensions, the prime focus of the company is on the safety of our colleagues in this region. Until further information is received regarding the cause of the explosion and the security of this important shipping lane is secured. Frontline said it will take extreme caution while considering new contracts in the region and the Company have to insure the safety of our vessels currently operating in the area considering all possible measures. For the safety of the crew, vessels and cargo, the Company is consulting with regional security experts.